Friday, December 30, 2005

Quilted Pillows

What a lovely Christmas gift! These were hand quilted and embroidered by our daughter in law Tomomi for us for Christmas. To see more of her work, click here.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Comfort/Prayer Shawl

Well, the whole crew went home today. Everyone had a great time, we ate too much and visited the day away yesterday. Today the routine things need to be done..the tree is still up (and probably will be for a few days), but Hubby and I have just slouched the entire day and rested up...grin I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Holiday.
During our slouching hiatus today I worked on another Comfort/Prayer Shawl. I finished a lovely yellow one in very soft baby sport weight yarn as a gift for our daughter. This one is made of a heavier yarn and is not as wide. It is a very simple pattern and quick to make. I will add fringe on the ends as the fringe on the yellow one gave it a pretty finished look. The pattern for this shawl is here on the Lion Brand web site.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Rosalie's Christmas

I received this in my email this Christmas morning from a very dear cousin. Merry Christmas to all this lovely day.

Rosalie's Christmas

We were the only family with children in the Restaurant.

I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly eating
and talking.

Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said,
"Hi There!" as he pounded his fat baby hands on high chair tray.

His eyes were crinkled in laughter and excitement

and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin,
as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment.

It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast
and his toes poked out of would-be shoes.
His shirt was dirty
and his hair was uncombed and unwashed...
his whiskers were too short to be called a beard
and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell,
but I was sure he smelled.
His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists.

"Hi there, baby;
Hi there, big boy.
I see ya, buster," the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks, "What do we do?"

Erik continued to laugh and answer, "Hi, hi there."

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us

and then at the man.

The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby.

Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room;

"Do ya patty cake?
Do you know peek-a-boo?
Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo."

Nobody, especially my husband and I thought the old man was cute.
He was obviously a bum and a drunk.

My husband and I were embarrassed.

We ate in silence; all except for Erik,
who was running through his repertoire
for the admiring skid row bum,
who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door.

My husband went to pay the check
and told me to meet him in the parking lot.

The old man sat poised between me and the door.
"Lord, just let me out of here
before he speaks to me or Erik," I prayed.

As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back

trying to sidestep him
and avoid any air he might be breathing.
As I did, Erik leaned over my arm,
reaching with both arms in a baby's "pick-me-up" position.

Before I could stop him,

Erik had propelled himself from my arms
to the man's.

Suddenly a very old smelly man
and a very young baby
consummated their love relationship.

Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission
laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder.

The man's eyes closed,
and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes.
His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor,
cradled my baby's bottom
and stroked his back
with a gentle love I could not describe,
but I felt in my soul.

No two beings had forever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck.

The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms

and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine.
He said in a firm commanding voice,
"You take care of this baby."

Somehow I managed, "I will"

from a throat that contained a stone.

The old man pried Erik from his chest unwillingly,

longingly, as though he were in pain,
and handed him to me.
I received my baby,
and the man said,

"God bless you, ma'am,
you've given me my Christmas gift."

I said nothing more than a muttered "thanks."

With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car.
My husband was wondering why I was crying
and holding Erik so tightly,
and why I was saying,

"My God, my God, forgive me"
over and over.

I had just witnessed Christ's love

shown through the innocence of a tiny child
who saw no sin,
who made no judgment;
a child who saw a soul,
and a mother who saw a suit of clothes.

I was a Christian who was blind,
holding a child who was not.

I felt as if God asked,
"Are you willing to share your son for a moment?"

And I remembered that He shared His son
for all eternity.

The ragged old man,
had reminded me,

"To enter the Kingdom of God,
we must become as little children."

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve... May your Holiday be all that you could wish it to be.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Babies

I love the Christmas season. My tree is finally up and all my babies are nestled on it. These were gifts over a period of time from one of my gransons and have been on my tree each season for several years now. Each baby has a different emotion on it's face and this little sleepyhead is one of my favorites.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Quote... Mother Teresa

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." Mother Teresa
Painting by: John Sparks (

John Sparks

Every day I have to look in on John Sparks to see what beautiful creation he is painting that day. This morning I received this lovely Christmas card in my email and thought I would share it with you. If you love art and enjoy seeing something new almost every day, have a look at the Spark's Art page. You'll be glad you did. And "Thank's again, John, for the lovely card!".

Friday, December 16, 2005

Graduation Night! Working full time, twin sons and college... he did it! Ask me if I'm proud. And did I mention what a great son he is too..??

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Hangin In There!

I love this pic! It seems to fit this time of year even tho it isn't Christmassy that a word? What a sweet, wonderful time with everyone rushing about and doing everything they can think of to make the holidays as wonderful as they can... and hangin' in there...grin
I got the tree up today...tomorrow will be the decorating day. Every year I am faithfully going to get it up and the house decorated either on Thanksgiving or the day after...well... we know that didn't happen! And probably won't next year either.. but the "Joy is in the Journey!" they say.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Wednesday Night...and Nothing to Say!

Did you ever have a busy, work, work... and at the end of it not be able to think of more than 2 or 3 things that have been accomplished all day? Today is one of those days... I finished the Evening Afghan, tweaked the 4 knitted scarves, got everything in their Christmas boxes (not wrapped of course) and spent the morning with the PC guy working on our computers to remove the Admin logon that we put on yesterday...
It seems that when you log on as the Administrator (if this is set up after you've had your pc for a while) none of your documents are available... what's up with that? I keep having some hacker trying to get into my machine....not cool! So the new Admin account was set up with a killer password...worked great! I couldn't even get to my stuff! grin
But the great thing about all that time spent this morning is that he helped me figure out how to get my FTP set up so I can finish work on my web page for my Hall's Teapots! More on that later...
During this time, Hubby was continuing to work on the dining room. Removed the ceiling fan, covered the hole and painted it. Then he touched up all the dings from all our nicks and bangs hanging the cornices and in general worked all day. What a day....

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Wildflower Embroidery

I found a wonderful site for anyone interested in stumpwork embroidery. Wildflower Embroidery has a free pincushion design that looks like it would be great for a beginner. May have to try it!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Evening Afghan

My afghan is growing. This is a very simple pattern using only the single crochet stitch. It can be made as simple or elaborate as a person wants to make it just by choosing different colors or charting a pattern of colors to use. To see a larger pic, just click on the picture. ( The blank area by the door is where the Christmas tree will go if I ever get the carpet shampooed ...hurry up Monday!)

Dining Room Cornice Finished

The 9 1/2ft. cornice for the dining room is finished. The sheers are hung. This the guest rooms... still need to be tweaked, but it's finally coming together... And the real decorating will have to wait until after Christmas. This was taken a couple of days ago... right now the light fixture is off, laying on the table and the new fixture is waiting in the box to be put up tomorrow.. phew! grin (Click on the pic for a larger version)

Eastern "Red Shafted" Woodpecker?

Newcomers keep showing up almost every day at the feeders and waterers. Keeps Hubby busy..grin This one has been hangin' out for a couple of days now. We looked him up in our book and the best identification we can come up with is Eastern "Red Shafted" Woodpecker. We have several Downy Woodpeckers, a Red Bellied Woodpecker and at least one Pileated (Crested) Woodpecker. This one is a newby on the block. Also called a Flicker..

Friday, December 09, 2005

Very Cold Today

Supposedly the temperature got up to 42 degrees today... couldn't prove it by me! Our thermometer on the porch only registered up to 38, but what does it know. Thank goodness for not much wind... the breeze was enough to make your cheeks feel like popsicles... I can only feel for the people living further north.
My brother Stan called this afternoon. Always such a pleasure. Had to tell him about the fiasco with the carpet shampooing... and just like a brother... he laughed..grin It's just been one of those days. I think the shampooer got mixed up and decided that my whole plan was not to clean the carpet, but to make mud! What a day! Enter Steamatic! next Monday..
Just so you know... this pic was taken last spring...not today! All the leaves are gone now except on the huge oak at the north side of the house. Now the long wait for green again...

Backyard Habitat Maybe??

I almost sent my money in for registration for "
Backyard Wildlife Habitat" once. Perhaps I should have gone ahead..grin
Looks like our possum has become quite comfortable... looked out under the pecan tree and there he was right in the middle of the day. I thought sure when I opened the back door, he would run... but he didn't. Not until I opened the screen door on the back porch and had taken 2 pictures did he turn and walk off... making good his escape through the back gate.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Sarge is my son and daughter in law's cat. Tomomi posted this pic on her blog Black Cat a couple of days ago and I laugh every time I see it... Makes me immediately think "Did ya ever have just one of those days?!!" Thought I would share the grins. And if needlework and quilting are your thing, her site is filled with pics of her beautiful handwork. The site is mostly in Japanese, but the menus are all in English, so it is easy to navigate. Have a look!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Vinegar Pie

My grandmother died in 2001 at the age of 98. One of my favorite things she ever made was what we called Vinegar Pie. I suppose she got the recipe from her mother (who could wander the fields of Oklahoma and come home with supper! literally!) I have no idea where or how Vinegar Pie originated, but have always assumed that it became a staple dessert back before refigeration and the availability of year round apples. It is also very inexpensive to make, so it would have been used a lot during the depression (I am assuming here, since I have not researched... but makes sense to me! grin)
A few years ago, I found that Uncle Bobby had modified Grandma's recipe some and then I had the opportunity to actually EAT some of it... WOW! Love that! So thanks to Aunt Edna (who sent me this recipe tonight after returning from church) here is the recipe...

Bob's Vinegar Cobbler

Preheat oven to 390 degrees.

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey (optional)
4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick margarine
1 tsp. cinnamon


2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup shortening
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
Enough cold milk to make dough workable.

Combine first 7 ingredients to make vinegar mixture and bring vinegar mixture to boiling.

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and shortening together with fork, fingers or pie knife until resembles cornmeal. Add enough cold milk (a little at a time) to make dough workable. Roll out 1/2 of the dough and cut into strips and drop into boiling vinegar mixture by pinching off dough into approx. 1" x 1" pieces. Boil 5 minutes to cook dumplings. Pour mixture into 9 x 13 " baking pan or pyrex dish. Top with remaining dough. This can be rolled and placed on top like a pie, or cut into strips and placed on like a lattice top pie. (Or whatever you want it look like!) Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top and bake at 390 degrees until crust is light brown.

Note: If you leave out honey, add another 1/2 cup sugar.
For diabetics you can use 2 cups honey and omit sugar.

And there you have it... Vinegar Pie! grin

Correction! This is a Red Bellied Woodpecker!

(Correction! Doing some research in my identification field guide...this is a Red Bellied Woodpecker! Sorry...)
Finally got a picture of the downy woodpecker and cardinal today. They are a little grainy since I had to take the pic through the back porch screen, but I love them anyway...grin
Can you tell we have finally had our first snow? Not much of it, but was really pretty as it fell. Very, very cold... at least to us here in Texas. This will probably turn into an ice storm by morning as it is too cold at present for snow. Sooo... we did all our grocery shopping and etc. this afternoon and got home just as the snow began to fall in earnest.
I have almost finished the last ... thank goodness... upholstered cornice. It is 9 1/2 ft. wide and 19" long. I should be able to put up pics tomorrow after it is hung.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Grateful Tuesday

It's been a very busy 2 weeks and have at least another day to go to finish the valances and get them hung. Hubby and I are getting a bit tired and with no days off for a couple of weeks, today we realized why we were both dragging...duh!
So tonight I thought perhaps it was time for a little down time and my grateful list. So here 'tis:
1. The feel of Brigit's curls as she snuggles against my neck.
2. Hot Apple Cider in a mug.
3. The stack of shoes by the kitchen door as the kids and grandkids come home, kick off their shoes and slouch on the sofa
4. The light in my husband's eyes as he answers the phone and realizes it is one of his daughters.
5. The smell of a roast cooking.
6. Crocheted house slippers.
7. The smell of an orange slice in my hot tea.
8. Email
9. Our wren's curiosity
11. My husband's cold toes
12. My sister's laugh
13. Fingernail files
14. Crochet hooks
15. The intelligent look in the eyes of the possum in our backyard tonight.
16. The beauty of the yellow against the red of the hibiscus
17. The phone call from my sister Teresa today.... just to talk and laugh.
18. My Uncle Bobby's Vinegar Pie... the best!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Time for a break

When I got a little snippy with my favorite guy a bit ago, I realized it was time to stop for the day, rest a bit and recoup. I slipped over to
kiki's place and grinned. She has the most adorable Santa and reindeer that just makes ya wanta smile.

Got our first Christmas card today. From some wonderful friends in Bull Shoals, AR. Hubby and I were on the Board of Directors when we lived there and Ed Bean was the President of the Board of Bull Shoals Theater. We've been gone a year and 1/2 now and still miss Ed & Judy. Drop by the
Bull Shoals Theatre website and have a look. (Also get to listen to one of my favorite songs... "Last Date" by Floyd Cramer performed by BST Volunteer and Board Member Ed Kufeldt ( a real wizard with music and computers!.) If you click on the History page, there at the bottom right is a pic of our hard working guy with none other than Country Star T. Graham Brown. If you're ever in the Bull Shoals area, you couldn't find a more wonderful place to visit.

Our Cardinals are having a hard time getting to the feeders these days. The American Finches have arrived in force! Feeding now takes place twice a day with 2 thistle socks only lasting about 4 days. I saw the wren again yesterday... thought she may have left us when a cat got her mate a few weeks ago. One more thing to go on my "Things to be grateful for" list...!!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Curtains & Valance Room 2

The last couple of days have been busy, busy. The valance for the small window was larger than for Room 1 and the second one for this room is over 6 ft. long. But...they are up and the room is rearranged completely. These pics are before the rearranging and the full length curtains under the long valance have been hung. Will take more pics after the decorating is done.
At a later date... that can be read as " after Christmas"... I may go back and put trim around the bottoms of the valances. But that will have to wait since there are 4 more to go....the tree to put up... gifts to wrap and last minute things to buy.. not to mention the deadlines looming on mailing gifts and Christmas cards. Like I said... Nothing like a little stress to spice up the holidays!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Valance, Curtains and Pillows Done

The first bedroom window is done! All hung and the room is put back together, but not finished. The tassle tiebacks need to be moved over a bit and the pic in the blue frame lying on the dresser will be hung on the small wall to left of the pic... It is awaiting the finishing of the frame for another pastel I finished last winter. The blue frame on the wall is one that Hubby made a few weeks ago.
The finish work for this room will have to wait a few days, since today I put the padding and fabric on another valance ( or should I call them cornices...ughh) that Hubby put together for me yesterday for the other guest bedroom. This one is a little bigger and took a lot longer to finish. Tomorrow is hemming the curtains, cutting and hemming the sheers and hanging them. Then will help build the really big valance for that room... More to come...

Colleen Moore's "Dollhouse"

Colleen Moore's Dollhouse is "the most opulent in North America". It truly is amazing! Have a look!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Ripple Afghan - My Evening Project

After supper, as the evening closes in, this is what I work on sitting in my chair beside Hubby and watching tv.

Holiday STRESS ..grin

As if there is not enough to do right before Christmas, we decided it was time for new curtains in the guest bedrooms. Can you say insanity?!! So as we were hanging the new curtains (which had to be cut off and re-hemmed), the idea for valances covered with the left over pieces jumped up, so of course off we go on this tangent. grin The pattern of the fabric seemed to lend itself to the curve shown on the trial valance Hubby cut for me yesterday and it really would be lovely cut that way... (the trial valance is not stapled...therefore the loose look...but you get the idea!) In the process of doing the trial valance, I realized that if everything did not line up perfectly in the center of the curves (there would be 3) it would look very amateurish... so I think the valance will be straight cut. The throw pillows were done quickly and there will be matching pillow shams for the bed pillows. Nothing like a little stress to add zest to the holiday season! grin (There is another room to be done also...with a window of the same size and another very large window...more on that later!)

Mini Quilt Done

Finally finished the mini quilt. I continue to waffle (who me??!!) on whether to leave the couple looking as if they have been carved from wood or whether to dry brush them with the cream color to make them look like corn husk... decisions, decisions!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Maya Angelou

"A Brave and Startling Truth"

We, this people on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through causal space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we discover
A brave and startling truth
And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms
When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign lands
When the rapacious storming of churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze
When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged may walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse
When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Not the Garden of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled in delicious color
By Western sunsets
Not the Danube flowing in its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the rising sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world
When we come to it
We, this people, on this miniscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade, the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cantankerous words
Which challenge our existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Can come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe
We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils or divines
When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
And without crippling fear
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonders of this world
That is when, and only when We come to it.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Rain at Last!

A visit from younger brother Stan and his sons was a great way to tie up the holiday. What kind of sister am I, anyway! I was so excited by the visit that the camera was a forgotten commodity until long after they had gone!

We got up to an overcast morning and finally around 9am it began to sprinkle.. and then it rained! What a wonderful after Thanksgiving gift!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Aunt Edna on "Life"

I received this email on this Thanksgiving morning from my Aunt Edna. She says many wonderful things that just fit the day (and life in general) and I couldn't resist the urge to share it with you. So here it is:

"Thought I would share my ramblings with you all.
I was in dishwater up to my elbows, getting ready for Thanksgiving...and these thoughts rambled through my mind. I dried my hands and rushed to the computer before the words were gone forever and not to be captured again.
Hope your day is very, very happy today!

By Edna Ingram

Next week is our 50th wedding anniversary.
When our children were small and so sweet and precious, I thought that no time in life would or could be as good as this!
Then they started growing up some and their activities multiplied and we were on the road a lot trying to take in all their activities and enjoying seeing them excell in lots of their endeavors...and I thought that no time in life would ever be as good as this!

Well, they were almost grown up and their values echoed our values and we were so very proud of them and it was then that finally I began to know there would be other good times.

When they grew up and moved a few hundred miles away, they came home frequently on weekends and when we expected them to come, I would stand and watch at the window. I could see headlights top the hill a couple of miles west of us and I would stand at the window and watch to see if the car would turn south at the next hill. Sometimes it did...sometimes it kept going east...but when the car turned south and came under the street lights a couple of blocks from our house, I could tell if it was their car. Then I would go turn on the porch light for them and meet them at the door.

One night I was expecting them and I watched until three in the morning...then decided to go to bed. That was the time plans had changed and they were not coming. It was easy to stand for hours watching, because by the time I knew one car was not theirs another would be topping the hill, and I just had to wait to see if that one was them. It was wonderful standing and watching and anticipating their coming. And I thought that was a very good time in our lives.

Then the grandchildren came and what a grand time that was! We were busy going to their activities as they were growing up and it was so good to watch them as they excelled in lots of things they did. They are all grown now and their values echo their parents' values and when they come, we are not situated geographically where we can watch for their headlights...we just have to be content with their cars driving up in our drivway...but it seems that no time in life can be this good.

Now our children are going through all these phases in their lives...the last one being the 'empty nest syndrome', which is the most distasteful of them all...but it has to be endured for the next phase to come around.

I'm excited for them...I'm excited for us! Every phase of life has its great moments. We don't know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future...and we are going to rush into it with faith in God, without fear and with great anticipation...knowing that it holds something we have never experienced before!"

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A Spot of Hot Chocolate

I have been trying to get a sore throat for a couple of days now, so tonight am having a bit of hot chocolate with a little brandy. Sat back tonight and watched "Tears of the Sun" with Bruce Willis. Having a husband who remembers Vietnam daily, a son leaving in February for his third tour in Iraq, and a grandson leaving in January for his first tour in Iraq... perhaps it was not the wisest thing to watch. But.. there is also something to said for the selflessness of American soldiers. They make me proud to know them.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and with all of the children out of pocket with work or other obligations this year, we will miss them and all the laughter in the house. However, spending the time with just my husband and myself will be wonderful also. There is so much to be thankful for this year, even if one of those things is the realization that some things have to work themselves out and nothing you can do will hurry that process. I hope everyone has a lovely, laughing Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Mini Quilt and Couple

Another find at the flea market last weekend was this couple. The bisque ware was white, but I have basecoated it with brown in preparation for the creamy yellow that will turn them into a cornhusk couple. The mini quilt will be held in the hands of the lady and today I bought the small clay floral of lilies that are in the clay pot the gentleman holds. If I can figure out how to make it, I will also make an amish bonnet for the lady and an amish hat for the man. Not sure I will be able to do that part. If anyone knows of a place online with the patterns, I would be ever so grateful.. grin

Monday, November 21, 2005

Heart Ornament

We stopped off at our little flea market this weekend and I found a couple of things in the bisque ware that the lady doing ceramics had evidently poured at least a year ago. This little ornament is 3" x 3" or so and cost me a whole dollar. I spent an hour or so today painting it and this is what emerged. I can't decide whether to attach the gold ribbon or not. To hang on the tree, I can attach the ribbon to the hanger then use the ornament to hang on the wall during the rest of the year. Can't really decide..grin Any suggestions? Click on the pictures for a larger look.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Hot Chocolate & Christmas Gifts

There's nothing quite like hot chocolate and brightly colored Christmas packages to make a great evening. Last year I made instant hot chocolate and placed it in a huge container for the family. (I still have some left.. ya think I may have gone a little overboard?? grin)

Earlier in the year, I made these small crochet bookmarks. I think I will use them as gift decorations and give them to the ones I made them for in the first place. What do ya think?
This is one of the patterns I used. I tried to find the other patterns I used, but will have to put them up later. I especially like the pineapple one in the picture.

But.. during my search I came up with
this page. Some really cool patterns here. Like the tiny hat and mittens on the key ring in the pic.. Can't wait to try that one! There's a huge list of wonderful patterns if you scroll down and hit the back button on the bottom of the page.
Finally...finally.. finished the newsletter today and got it to the printer 30 minutes before they closed... whew! But it turned out better then I expected and we are actually pleased with it... so guess all the tweaking was worth it.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Cold Weather and Crocheted Slippers

It was supposed to have been 28 degrees last night and I think it made it... Very cold and was 34 this morning around 8am or so. Makes me glad I made these slippers a couple of days ago. I used Abi's Slippers pattern. They crochet up quickly and feel really good on these cold nights.
The newsletter has taken up all of 2 days now. 8 1/2 hours today and still going. Finally gave up the ghost and quit around 5:30 and we went to Nick's for supper.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Cooler Nights

It's turning cooler this evening and is supposed to reach 32 degrees tonight and tomorrow night. This being Texas, the weather is always a wait and see thing, though.
This is one of our doves. Isn't she lovely? The picture reminds me of cooler weather as I took this photo last winter.
The newsletter is almost put to bed... thank the Lord. I have about another half day tomorrow working on the table of contents and the front page... then .. voila! Then another 2 or 3 hours working on an insert for the concessions and membership dues. Should be totally complete tomorrow. And what a time for the big printer to be low on black ink!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Grateful Monday

The finches are back. Last year we had dozens that spent the winter with us. I'm not positive what kind of finch this is, so if anyone has an idea, I would love to know.
Kiki, over at What Was I Thinking, (love this blog! grin) does Grateful Friday. I think it's a great way to sit down and list the things that happen on an everyday basis that we seldom take the time to acknowledge. Tonight I think I will do Grateful Monday.
So today, on Monday November 14, 2005, I am grateful for my tired husband who has worked all day in his shop and then put his own plate in the dishwasher, the finches that returned this year, the leaves in a huge pile at the shop door that make the backyard look like we live deep in the country and scrunch under my shoes, my $9.99 bag of cheap brushes that I found today when I needed a smaller shader to paint on my project, the lids to some of my teapots and the tiny cups that go with another of my teapots that we found yesterday in a box that has been packed away for a year, the sound of the birds singing each morning as we drink our coffee on the porch, the huge oak tree in the yard that produces enough acorns that we can watch the squirrels pick them up for weeks each year... to be continued...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Book Finds

Made a stop at Hasting's yesterday to pick up some movies .. since there is nothing on television in the evenings on weekends.. and came across these two books for $.99 ea! Had to have them.

Did you know ..... "in 1854 at a peace conference at Fort Laramie Wyoming, a prominent Northern Cheyenne chief requested of the US Army authorities the gift of one thousand white women as brides for his young warriors"? (quote from the author's note of One Thousand White Women... The Journal of May Dodd by Jim Fergus). I didn't. This book is a complete work of fiction based on this one historical event. I can hardly wait to read this book.

Did you know... that Jun is a pale blue, opalescent stoneware glaze named after a town in China where it was first made in the 11th century? What a buy! Love the books!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Crochet Thread Holder

In the process of crocheting the snood, I kept having to chase my thread all over my recliner. Since my husband's recliner sits next to mine, I tapped him on the hand and asked if he could build me something that would help this situation. This is what he came up with and it is wonderful! The thread pulls off easily as I am crocheting without having to pull off a long loose string that becomes loose in my fingers. No more rolling away balls of thread! And the weight of the base holds it easily on my chair arm without continually having to re-balance it. Is he not great??!! grin

Crochet the Classics Snood

Crochet the Classics the purpose of the group is to read the classics and find something in the book or the period of the book to crochet. The month of October book was The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe. I have finished the book (all 672 pages of it!) and found myself in utter amazement that in 1794 when this book was written, the entire premise of the mystery romance novel was exactly the same as it is today. Now ask me why that surprised me so much. I have no idea!
I'm not sure if Emily wore a snood or not (writer Anne Radcliffe expounded exponentially on everything but the clothing of the day!), but since the snood was worn during this time period this is what I elected to make.
When I decided on this I had no idea how to make one, so I did a search and came up with this pattern. It's quick and easy (I have to admit to a bit of modifying the pattern), and it worked up in 2 evenings at the television. (It took 2 because the first one I kept fiddling around with the computer..grin) I used #10 cotton and a Bates size 1 (2.35 mm) needle.
I actually tried it on, but decided that was one picture no one deserved to have to look at... soooo. grin Perhaps I will see if daughters or grand daughter would like to give it a try.